The Brass Kettle by J D Fergusson

The History of Art programme at the University of Aberdeen provides students with an extensive specialised knowledge of the history of painting, sculpture, architecture and the decorative arts in Europe and North America from the Middle Ages to the present day. We offer a four-year undergraduate programme leading to an Honours degree in History of Art, together with a wide range of joint degree options. We also offer an innovative taught MLitt degree programme in Art and Business, and welcome applications from interested candidates for research degrees at MLitt and PhD levels. 

50-52 College BoundsHistory of Art is based on the Old Aberdeen campus at 50-52 College Bounds, two Georgian manse houses next to King’s College and its late fifteenth-century chapel. King’s Museum and the Sir Duncan Rice Library Gallery are both within walking distance, and hold a regular programme of exhibitions. First-hand encounters with a wide variety of artworks and architecture form a significant part of our degree programme. We are proud of the University’s art collection which we draw upon in our teaching and research.

Our Honours students undertake a comprehensive Fieldwork course, which includes a  residential reading party at a country house, a taught week in London, a tutor-led class visit to Edinburgh and an independent visit to Glasgow. In their final year, students undertake a week-long visit to an agreed city of artistic and cultural significance; our most recent trip of this nature has been to Paris.

We are an active group of researchers, furthering specialist knowledge and understanding in a range of areas including Pictish art, Medieval architecture, Italian Baroque painting, early modern prints, and Scottish and British painting from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the impact of our research was rated first in Scotland and second across universities in the United Kingdom.

Our students viewing art on location at the University of Aberdeen, the Old Royal Naval College and Tate Modern in London, and the Pompidou Centre in Paris as part of their studies at Levels 2, 3, & 4.


Sibyl EuropaeaWhy History of Art at Aberdeen?

Many of our students go on to pursue careers in the art gallery and museum sectors, arts education,  auction houses, publishing and journalism, and fine art conservation, together with further postgraduate study. Employers of our most recent graduates include Christie’s London, Sotheby’s Zurich, the Weiss Gallery, London, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums, the Pier Arts Centre, Orkney, and the McManus Gallery, Dundee.

History of Art students also acquire transferable skills during the course of their degree which are valuable across a range of career possibilities. These include teamwork, time management, and personal initiative, while focused historical study encourages the development of enquiry, analytical and presentational skills. These abilities are consistently drawn upon and developed during your four years of undergraduate study in History of Art, through the completion of essays and reports, seminar presentations, fieldwork, and the final year dissertation.

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